Here are but a few comments received since we began in 1994. Please contact us for references in your area or by the type of trip you are planning, such as a family journey in Vietnam.
This my first email since returning from our trip which ended yesterday afternoon. In the beginning I must admit I had a little trepidation about dealing directly with a travel company as we have always been "self-planners." So, I am pleased to tell you that from the minute we were met by your agent "Duke" in Hanoi until the plane took off from Bangkok we had a perfect tour, one not remotey possible had we planned. Great job!
—Tom & Sharon Schilling
We have traveled the world over and by any standard of measurement this was one of the most interesting trouble free trips we have ever taken. Every single guide was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, on time and went out of their way to insure our well being and comfort. Not only did we see great sights....we also got a history lesson about the area from each guide. We always seemed to beat the hordes of other travelers and our guides gave us a great insight about the background and culture of the area. The sights were incredible and as unique as any in the world. The hotels were as good as we have ever stayed at, the food was uniformly outstanding and at the end of each day we went to bed with the satisfaction we had seen the very best the area had to offer and with anticipation of the adventure of the next day. Suffice to say we were completely happy with the way you and your people performed, it was beyond our highest anticipation. Thanks for making it possible for us to have such a wonderful travel experience.
—Bill & Karen Skinner
Diep, thank you for the special moments in Hanoi, we will always remember our trip here because of you.
A great trip, everything was as good as it could get. The internal flights,travel arrangements,etc were as scheduled. the guides met us took us and delivered us. Could not have been better. A couple were a challenge on their pronunciation but all knew there subject and they all bent over backwards to accommodate our every wish. We saw it all and did it all. As you predicted no mosquitos, so malerone was stopped early. The transportation, bus, boat, plane and by foot worked great.
The choice of hotels was perfect (except in Luang Prabang where our first choice was full). All in all the rooms, the food, the time at each location the coordination were perfect. The boutique hotel in Chiang Mai was a highlight. I have been around but far and away you have done a spectacular job for us and we will not be bashful about telling that to all our friends.
From a personal point of view I have to say Vietnam sticks in my mind. You don't just visit Vietnam, you experience it. You see the country, the people, the past and the future and you cant avoid doing a lot of thinking. You empathize with Cambodia,you get excited about Laos, Thailand is fulfilling but Vietnam gets under your skin. My most memorable spots Hoi An and the Delta. And I could go on but enough said. Again, thanks for a great trip and we all share that feeling.
—Dr. Norm Carabet
We have had a fantastic trip. We are in Mawlamyaing and will be going out soon to find a Japanese locomotive, what is left of the Railway of Death, and the pagoda where Kipling wrote his poem, etc. Tin Htut is with us. He certainly knows his English literature! Thein Zaw has arranged another meeting with Min Ko Naing just before we leave. We want to thank him for his interview a couple weeks ago…and just chat with him.
—Dr. Al Campbell
We asked you if a family of four, with an infant and young boy, could have a holiday cycling in Vietnam and you sent us to the Mekong Delta. Well I'm pleased to report a family can indeed have a great time. One and all enjoyed the adventure, activities, food, boating and the lovely Victoria Resort. Thanks for making our holiday a success.
We were enchanted with La Residence and want to stay with this chain wherever possible. The hotel surprised us with a complimentary upgrade to an Executive Suite plus fruit and flowers. I attributed this surprise to The manager's relationship with you."
Wonderful trip, the best guides we've ever had — wouldn't have changed one thing about our trip. Thanks so much.
—Charles & Gwen Bailey
As "solo" travelers, we were surprised that is was the wonderful Vietnamese escorts we spent time with during our trip that we felt were the most wonderful part of the time spent there. We are already discussing our return plans.
—Karen & Bill Jeffries
We had an incredible trip. While on the airplane home we tried to think of one minus about our trip and could not come up with one thing. Great job. We usually go to some place new every year but are considering Vietnam again next year and almost wish we could move there for awhile. Many thanks.
—Dr. Paul Kissner
I apologize that it has taken me so long to contact you after our most wonderful trip!! Greg and I have both had the good fortune to travel extensively and we both said that this was the best vacation of our lives! We were soooooo impressed with the tour that you established for us. It was beyond our expectations! We both fell in love with the Vietnamese people and it was because of your expertise, and that of your colleagues & guides, that made that possible.
We had a wonderful time. Your guides were the best, especially enjoyed Diep because of her interest in cooking and food. Like going out to dinner with her. You have a great crew of guides, they were all very nice to be with. The trip went off without a hitch — thanks to all your good planning. The hotels you picked were just fine. We especially liked the Angkor Village in Cambodia. Best regards and thanks again for a fine organizing job and to all your great guides!
We just want to thank you for arranging such a fantastic trip. The guides were wonderful. the hotels all we could ask for and the food, as you said it would be, was excellent. If you need us for an endorsement, we're available!
In fact, Patrick was able to get me linked up with Min Ko Naing who is the next most important person in Myanmar behind Aung San Suu Kyi. That interview was eye opening. Of all the places that I have seen overseas, Myanmar was the best for many, many reasons.
—Dr. Al Campbell
Many thanks for organizing an exquisite trip for Dan and me. Everything went extremely smoothly and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The accommodation was top-notch, and such a treat. Many thanks, as well, for the lovely gifts - T-shirts, and the beautiful wooden carved bowl. Very nice souvenirs of a wonderful trip! Well done!
Well, I just have to say our trip was perfect. The guides and drivers that you provided were wonderful and so nice. I felt so safe and cared for. It was a great trip and so educational. I was nervous about Vietnam but as soon as I saw Lam, I knew all would be well. We have recommended you to many of our friends. I hope that they will give you a call. Thanks for a trip of a life time.
I want to thank you and Viet for such a good trip. Douglas and I had a great time and the tour guides and driver were great. Mr. Anh was a perfect tour guide. When I tell people about him taking us to his house for dinner with his wife and family they just can not believe it. If you every need a recommendation for your Tours just let them get in touch with me. Again I would like to thank you.
We had a wonderful time. The selected sites and itinerary was just perfect. It was a great blend of the new SE Asia, the emerging SE Asia and the traditional SE Asia. Each location was very different from the last, the memories are all different and wonderful. Food was delicious, tour guides were wonderful and the sites were all enjoyable to see. We did not leave any location wishing that we had more time, our time in each city was maximized and full.
My favorite memories are kayaking in Halong Bay and seeing the procession of monks at daybreak in Luang Prabang. Our favorite "shopping" experience was the contemporary art gallery, Art Vietnam in Hanoi and the night market in Luang Prabang. We have already told our friends how important you were in making this such a memorable experience for us.
We had a wonderful time and Indochina Travel and its in-country staff were fabulous. The accommodations were first rate; meals and cooking classes met our fondest expectations. Thanks for a wonderful experience and memorable adventure.
—Karen and Lou Carson
The trip was amazing, I really enjoyed the remote places we went and the crew did a great job. Looking forward to the next one.
I can't thank you enough. We all had a wonderful (emphasis on wonder) family trip. The itinerary was well planned, the hotels were all great, providing rest from the hectic pace all around, the biking portion of the trip was a fabulous adventure and the best way to experience the country, and the guides were professional and interesting. We had so much fun together, learned a ton, and laughed all the time. Thank you again.
We have returned from our trip and wanted you to know how very much we appreciated all your work and assistance. It was a flawless trip —accommodations, in country transit, and other arrangements. We were particularly pleased with our guide in Hanoi, Le Truong Lam – he did an exceptional job and you are lucky to have him as part of Indochina Travel. Thanks again for making this so memorable an experience.
—Irene and Dick Spero
Hiroshi. Great meeting you. Our trip to Naoshima was incredible! Very inspiring.
We got home yesterday from our perfect Vietnam and Cambodia experience. Trip was fabulous! Thank you so much for planning such a great itinerary for us. You were right, being there for TET was a unique experience, a highlight, especially having TET with our guide's family. I'm happy to share more details or answer any questions, should you want more info. Next project: preview 1,000 pictures and get over jet lag.
Our trip, while tiring, was a grand success, and we are very pleased with the itinerary, guides, and accommodations. The arrangements were uniformly excellent, and all transfers and hook-ups with drivers/guides went without a hitch. Everyone was extraordinarily helpful, solicitous, and kind. We are, frankly, not used to such good treatment and were often embarrassed by being waited on hand and foot.
—Dr. David Cohen
Home, safe and sound! I would like to thank you and all the folks at Indochina Travel for arranging an absolutely awesome trip for me! I only wish I could have stayed longer. The property in Cambodia we simply out of this world and I felt like a queen (and enjoyed the best bananas flambe I have ever tasted). Thank you also for the changes to our itinerary both before we left and once we were on the road. Mai was exceedingly helpful, resourceful and very responsive. My favourite part of the trip would have to be the home stay in the White Tai Village. I would love to go back and stay longer. Our guides were absolutely wonderful. Hats off to Fong, Long and Mr. Tye (in Cambodia - I am sure I have spelled names wrong). They were both gracious, accommodating, informative and fun. All four of us had a very fun time with Long. He proved to have a wonderful sense of humour that complimented Debbie's sense of humour wonderfully.
I have returned from Vietnam and want to thank you for helping to put together what turned out to be an amazing experience. All the details unfolded flawlessly and the two guides I had were fabulous. Thinh in Hanoi and the North was delightful and brilliant. She knew everything and I felt as though we were friends after our 8 days together. Phong in Hue and Hoi An could not have been more different in style but was also great and really knew his stuff. He had a very colorful way of presenting information and I enjoyed him.
I can not say enough about Vietnam, I loved every aspect of it. And the plan you put together, I think, gave me a great overview of different areas and what the country has to offer. Many people have asked me how I managed to put together such a great trip and I tell them that I worked with your company. I am happy to sing your praises and appreciate very much your time and energy in working with me to arrange a truly memorable journey. Thanks again.
Just to let you know that we are back from Vietnam and had a wonderful holiday and have to thank you and your team for the special ‘guidance’ that made our trip fabulous! We have travelled extensively around the world and this is the first time we have ever gone through a ‘tour manager’ and were full of skepticism about being herded around... Well, we were relieved to discover it was in fact more enriching than it would have been on our own. So thanks again. And I will recommend Indo China Travel to friends from India who plan to visit the region. There’s is a list building up already!
Thanks for a wonderful trip. We were very surprised how smoothly our trip went. Our only disappointment is we could not take our guide "Tex" home in Chiang Mai home with us -- most of our escorts were like family, not service staff.
We had a wonderful, wonderful trip. Everything we planned went perfect. IN Hoi An, our escort's wife had given birth and he invited us to the public hospital to visit the baby... It was one of many amazing memories we took away from our trip.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Vietnam. The hotels were lovely and the tour guides were generally very good. Thank you very much for your help in arranging our trip.
I've been giving myself a little time to integrate everything we saw and felt on our trip. The very "short" version is it was WONDERFUL. You all did GREAT! Thank you for making this such a wonderful, fantastic trip for us. If you want or need photo's I have many.... Happy New Year and my best to all of you.
—Linda and Vito/
We had such an amazing time in Vietnam (my now favorite country!) with Mr. Tien and Trieu that my husband and I are thinking of doing another one. Thanks!
Dear Tree, Mai, and Patrick, Carole and I return to Seattle tomorrow. From us, and from our entire assortment of kids, friends, and fellow-travelers, we send you an enormous THANKS for an unforgettable Viet Nam trip. We could not have been more pleased with the arrangements, accommodations, and advise about what to do and see. Our guides, Lam and An, were expert, cheerful, knowledgable, and unfailingly helpful, and our drivers skilled and friendly. Viet Nam exceeded our expectations in every way, and we feel fortunate that there's still much to see. You can be sure that, when we see the rest, you'll be booking the trip. Please let all who helped us along the way know how much we appreciate everything done for us. David's parting remark, as he left for Japan: "best family trip--ever!"
Again, many thanks,
I want to thank you and your staff for putting together an excellent tour. As a college humanities professor, it is advantageous for me to travel overseas. What I learn beyond the textbook is critical. All of our trips to India, Nepal, Tibet, French Polynesia, Easter Island, Chile, Egypt, Mali, Morocco, and South Africa were trips planned by my wife and me. We don’t go on group trips--ever. However, going to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand for five-weeks was too much of an undertaking for us to plan. Well, our actual tour from the beginning to the end was superb. The people that we met in all those countries were absolutely friendly and wanting to assist us in every way. They were everything that you said they would be. Without exception, they were the nicest people we have met on all our journeys. In addition to teaching history, philosophy, ethics, and world religions, I teach art history. I went to Tahiti to find out if Paul Gauguin was correct about the French Polynesians being both beautiful physically and emotionally. He was correct, but the people we met on our tour were even nicer than those in French Polynesia.
I told you what I wanted to see on our trip, and your itinerary was far more than I expected. The places and people were beyond what I could have imagined. The guides knew the history and stories of all the places we visited. I’ll never forget their help in making me more knowledgeable about that area of the world. Again, thanks for providing us a truly wonderful personal tour.
—Dr. Al Campbell
We had an absolute wonderful time during our trip. We just got back yesterday and wanted to let you know that everything worked out with amazing perfection. We loved the countries, the people, the food, the hotels and our guides. Everything was perfect. THANK YOU for making it a memorable vacation for us.
—Pepe and Wendy
Our trip went very well and all arrangements were extremely smooth. The Silk Path Hotel was very nice; the staff service excellent, the rooms very nice, and the restaurant food very good. Our guides (and drivers) for both the city tour and our Halong Bay Cruise were excellent. Of course you know what a "star" Lam is, so he made the bay cruise just wonderful. The food on the boat first rate!! Thank you for everything you did for our Vietnam Nursing Project. We really appreciate your services.
I want to thank you, and your teams - for all of your help and work to provide us with a spectacular and memorable vacation in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, and visit with our son. Every portion and leg of the trip was expertly arranged for and executed. We had an amazing trip and a family experience. Dave, who lives in the Nan Province in the north of Thailand was able to work with the Guides, arranged for us by Patrick, to heighten our local, indigenous experience with views that will be cherished for our lifetimes. We thank you for making each portion of an extensive trip. The flights, hotels, shopping, food, the temples and local living environments were made available to us with style, information, respect for the residents while enriching our view of the world. Both of you, and your teams are great and we will definitely be coming back to So. East Asia and with your services. You are the best!
I have unexpected access to internet while at a very nice hotel in Mandalay. We are well and VERY happy with this trip. It hasn't yet been a week in country, and we feel like we've seen and learned so much. We have a WONDERFUL guide. Her name is May, and she is a 37-year-old university educated woman who has been guiding across the country for at least nine years. She has adapted our itinerary to meet our interests, and we've spent a lot of time in villages where she knows people. We see how they live, and what they do to support their families. The traditional lives are focused on a given crop, product, or service.
We've seen too many things to set out in this short e-mail before breakfast, but suffice it to say it's been fascinating. We also went to the local market day, colorful with all the tribes at the market, and a real array of fruits, veggies, and fish. Inle is also very unique for both the methods of fishing on this shallow, large lake, and for the "floating gardens." About 70 years ago someone figured out how to combine the water hyacinth (which is a weed in the Delta at home), flowers, and mud from the lake bottom, to make large gardens that literally float!! They are about 5-8 feet wide, and hundreds of feet long. You can walk on them and the rise up and down as you walk, but are great for tomatoes and dozens of other vegetables. We've learned a lot about Buddhism (might convert :) and have seen beautiful pagodas, temples, and other historic sites. Waaay to much to tell, but all great. The food is super, and we try lots of different things. We have stayed 100% healthy. Anyway, time for breakfast before we start out on another 10-hour day of learning about this great country, its people, and its rich history. We miss you all (not really that much).
—Ric & Marilyn Haas
Dear Canh: Jeffrey and I wanted to send this photo of the group with the cycling club we met at morning exercise after the flower market. Wow, we are very grateful to you for showing us around the North. We both felt that your thoughtful and intelligent insights and guiding were way above and beyond! You set the table so nicely for our Vietnam tour, we look forward to staying in touch with you. Please let us know if you are coming to NYC, we would love to see you again. We are cc:ing Patrick because we want him to know what a superb job you have done for the whole group. We can confidently say the whole group shares our sentiments! Best regards, and we hope you enjoy your Tet holiday!
—Jill and Jeffrey Baker
First, let me thank you for arranging such a wonderful adventure for us. Despite the colder weather in Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoi, we had a wonderful time there. A real bright spot in all the travel to and from there, and also in Luang Prabang was our guide, Boon Savat. He was a delight in all circumstances, eager, boyish, informative, and very open about himself and his society and culture. Savat was an absolute jewel --- there when we needed him, very informative, but not pushy, organized but also flexible. His charm and upbeat nature overcame the cold and overcast times. The plan to drive up to Nong Khiaw and boat down was perfect. And we also loved the excursion up and down the Nam Ou to and from Muang Ngoi, with the stroll to the village. The guide there too was good. He too had been a monk and had been educated but returned to his town. Thanks again for urging us to come here and thanks again for suggesting Myanmar and making such good arrangements. Tomorrow we'll be visiting craft villages, which are high on our list.
—Dr. Stephen Lerner
Just a quick note to thank you guys for planning such a wonderful trip. It was a great trip and we had a fantastic time. Our guide, Paul, in Siem Reap was delightful. He explained the stories with such detail and humor. We enjoyed our tours with him and he was very gracious and kind. We loved Luang Prabang. It was quiet and soothing. We had an amazing dinner there - probably the best meal of the entire trip. Our guide was not as great as Paul, but he was good. (We thought he was a bit opinionated in some of his commentary) Both hotels were very nice and the service was excellent. We loved the elephant riding in Laos. That was the highlight of the trip for my son. He got a little "templed" out. Thanks again for putting this trip together and making it such a memorable experience. Your professionalism was top notch all the way.
—Best wishes, Elizabeth Paik
This is a very overdue thank you for a FANTASTIC trip!! We and I and our kids thoroughly enjoyed our trip!! You did a fabulous job directing us where to go, setting everything up, creating unique experiences, and providing lovely tour guides to make our experience a most memorable one! It was truly outstanding. We have all fallen in love (or more in love for me) with SE Asia - Vietnam and Cambodia are just spectacular, and we will look forward to returning. I have already recommended you to several friends, whom I hope will be adventurous enough to call you!! I really want to thank you for all of your attention to detail, and patience. We will be talking about the trip for years to come.
We have been meaning to write ever since we got home last week to say a great big thank you for helping us put together such an awesome honeymoon! The trip was just outstanding. All of the hotels were over the top awesome! The guides were invaluable and we really enjoyed getting to know them, as well. Chit in Laos was particularly outstanding. He invited us to his home for the Baci ceremony. He and his wife and family invited about a dozen villagers over for it. And because we had just gotten married, they made the ceremony even more special, which was awesome. Afterwards his wife prepared an incredible meal for us. So we felt especially fortunate to have this experience! All of the gifts along the way were also wonderful. What wonderful little surprises at each stop. We will especially enjoy the beautiful chop sticks that Lam gave us in Hanoi. So thank you!
Thank you so much for a great trip. It was so organized and we saw so many interesting sites and met many wonderful people. Our guides (all three) just made the trip. They were so attentive,patient, caring and knowledgeable and were there for everything we needed. We would recommend each one any time to a new client and if we return, we would request them again. We were pleased that you encouraged us to do the things we did and stay at the hotels we chose. Each one was memorable. Thank you again. If we can write any reviews for our guides or help in any way, please let us know.
With sincere appreciation
—Dan and Sara Akerlund
Thank you... Derek and I had a wonderful time on our Indochina Tour! Thank you so much for organizing our amazing trip. We want to especially compliment our guides in Laos and Cambodia. Chitt and his wife welcomed us into their home for a touching Baci ceremony and a gourmet multi course home cooked meal - incredible! Ngeth Samol in Cambodia was an amazing tour guide. He was extremely knowledgeable and informative about both ancient and recent Cambodian history. He cleverly arranged our tour of Angkor to make the most of the weather and crowds depending on the time of day. He was also very helpful in suggesting the perfect photo spots. We will never forget the sunrise over Angkor! Back to editing my 1800+ photos from the trip....
—Dominika & Derek Motas
Sue and I are still aglow from our wonderful trip to Indochina! The trip was so wonderful that Sue is quite receptive to more third world travel (or whatever one calls travel outside North America, Europe, Australia, Japan, etc.). As you may recall, we traveled to India and along the Silk Road about five years ago, so in part as a process of elimination I have begun to look at Africa and South America. The two destinations that catch my fancy are East Africa in Peru/Galapagos. Five years ago, I located you on the internet and perceived that you were able to offer private travel for a whole lot less than the likes of A&K and GeoEx. I subsequently discovered that, apart from cost, your trip was almost certainly better than what they would have provided.
With much appreciation,
—Sue and Burt Zwick
I wanted to let you know that we had a fabulous time in Myanmar. With the exception of a few unforeseeable and minor flight delays, it was smooth sailing. Min, our guide, was excellent. Very knowledgeable, energetic, and professional. Since a few of us were suffering from colds. Min bought us "local" cough drops and herbal medicine which we appreciated. He also candidly shared his views about the political situation which was fascinating. All in all a great trip to a very special country that is changing rapidly-- politically, socially, and economically, that we were glad to see it before too much change occurred.
A bit of a stab in the dark to get someone from west coast of the States to arrange a major holiday, but we are back home after a most enjoyable trip. Very impressed with all the itinerary and admin you arranged, we ended up with exactly the sort of holiday we had been looking for. Our local guide was very good. Though she occasionally struggled with English was far more than offset by her enthusiasm, knowledge and depth of understanding. She was certainly Miss Fix It. After a day or two we just took it as a given that we would have the best vantage point, best table for lunch etc etc! Exceptional service at the very end. We were in Bagan on the Air Bagan plane back to Yangon for our Bangkok flight when there was an issue with the plane and we were off loaded. 20 minutes later we were in the air on a Yangon Air flight. Still don’t know what strings she pulled – but brilliant! We were the only people to get a transfer. Thanks – well done!
—Dr. John Thirwell, London
It's two months since we got back from our trip, and the re-entry into normal life has delayed an e-mail to you. We had a wonderful trip and the guides were amazing. We particularly enjoyed Bell in Hanoi, Indochina Junk in general in Halong Bay (the food was wonderful, and I don't think we saw another boat until the very last day), and Vy in Angkor Wat. Tuong in Hue and Hoi An, and Sing in Laos were great as well. Except for one meal in Hue and the Christmas dinner in Hoi An, every tour and meal in Vietnam were exceptional. Our guides really provided different perspectives on life in their respective countries, as well as different experiences. We thought we could have used another day in Angkor Wat (because it was so hot and overwhelming), and perhaps a day less in Laos. We meant to write sooner, but thank you again to you and your team for a wonderful, action-packed, and over-all seamless vacation.
—Best, Margot and Joel Stokol
I wanted to thank you for organizing our trip to Cambodia, Laos and Thailand back in December. Jill and I had the most amazing trip! Our favorite part of the trip was Cambodia and the guide we had made that part of our trip... Sam! We are still in touch with him via email.
Jon and I wanted to thank you for arranging for us what was one of the the memorable trips we have ever done. From start to finish all went smoothly and the trip exceeded our expectations. We have fallen in love with Myanmar, the country, the people, the food. Our guide Ouza was fabulous. She was knowledgeable, helpful and fun. The birthday surprise for Jon of visiting a monastary was great. He was truly touched. Our only disaappointment was that our balloon ride was cancelled, but that is out of anyone's control. You were both a pleasure to work with and I hope we will be arranging another trip. We will course recommend Indochina Travel to our friends and family.
At every turn, they have been organizing wonderful outings, delicious food and exciting experiences for both us and the kids. Diep is intelligent, loving to the kids, warm, respectful and on top of every detail. She is truly amazing! The girls all adore her! Lum is very knowledgeable and is always working seamlessly with Diep to make our days perfect. I could not imagine being with two better Vietnamese guides. They have gone beyond the call of duty at every point and are wonderful.
I just wanted to let you know that we had a fantastic trip. All of the guides and drivers that we had in all 3 countries were fantastic – very knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and just really nice people. Everything that we did was great and organised to a tee. We really enjoyed everything and had some amazing experiences. Many thanks to you and your team.
Kind regards, Louise Massey and Family
—Louise Massey and Family
We are just back today from our holidays - what a brutal awakening! It is 25 degrees and snowing here in Chicago. What a contrast from the last three weeks. We wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you, thank you, thank you, for organizing such a beautiful and special trip. The experiences that the guides shared with us were fantastic and we will never forget the amazing and strong people we met. And we were treated so unbelievably well by the guides. I will take time to let you know more about our impressions but wanted to say thank you for everything. We loved it!
Just wanted to let you both know how pleased we are with everything so far. Hanoi is wonderful, and it was a treat to spend some time with Diep. Lam is wonderful and he is taking us to places that are off the beaten track, just as we want. Mr T is an excellent driver, and we are amazed that he can maneuver the van around the other cars, buses, and motorbikes! We can't wait to get to halong bay tomorrow! More to come!
—Karen & Rick Stern
Happy thanksgiving, and also thank you for your kind note and the T-Shirts. Despite typhoons and constant airline mishaps (to cap it all off it took 42 hours to complete our trip from Hong Kong to San Diego), we had a wonderful trip! We can’t thank you and your team/extended network enough.
We are back in Shanghai after a fabulous trip to Southeast Asia! Thank you so much for all of your help making it happen. We had so many wonderful experiences, and everything was so easy. Our guides and activities were great. I can’t believe that we’re only a few weeks away from our Myanmar trip.
—Susan Touchton family
We arrived home safely in LA. Thanks for arranging a terrific trip. The people on the ground were great; very smooth trip. A fascinating part of the world, as you know best. Happy New Year.
—Jon Sokoloff family
Rick & I arrived back in the US last night, and although we are still uncertain what day it is, we are well! We will write a more detailed email once we pull ourselves together, but we wanted you to know that the trip was everything we had hoped for and more! Our guides, drivers, and itineraries were wonderful! We were especially grateful for our hotel upgrade at the Peninsula in Bangkok -- we suspect you had something to do with that, and the room was amazing!!!! Thanks for everything - we will be in touch soon!
—Karen & Rick Stern
You've done it again. We could not believe such a long, complicated travel plan was completed without any issues. We love you guys!
—Ric and Marilyn Haas (Indochina '12 & Yunnan and Tibet '14)
Well Tree, here we are just back in Canada and are suffering from withdrawal symptoms already. Asia was wonderful with all its richness of colour, cuisine and cultures: so good for the soul. Our favourite places had to be Hanoi and Myanmar, followed by Mumbai, the Maldives and Galle in Sri Lanka. Can't say how surprised we were to open our drapes at the Taj to see the Gateway of India directly below!
Hanoi and Myanmar were the most memorable. Yes, the Metropole was a stunning "must " and the city historically fascinating. But the icing on the cake were Lam, Fiona and Hien. All are what we call leaders....not just rote tour people...but people who deliver more than expected . We will always remember our dinner arranged by Fiona at Hien's home and Lam's energy and expert knowledge of his country. We can still see him waiting for us at the Hanoi airport, red roses in hand and the fast tracking process that got us out of the airport before the crush of other travellers on the other six planes that taxied in at the same time.
As for Myanmar, it reminds us of Asia 40 years ago. While you added Mount Popa to fill in that extra time, it was brilliant. It is more remote and lush and the view from our villa spectacular. And our visit to see the "nats" was a real eye opener. Nats, who knew? Luckily, we had the benefit of Nae, our guide a practicing Buddhist, who explained it all and has his own favourite nat. He is still single so we assume he is appealing for guidance on that front.
You did tell us that by the time we finished, we would be templed out and you are right. By the time we hit Bagan we enjoyed the Aureum so much that we stayed there for much of the time. The ASEAN meetings were on there so we got the added enjoyment of special events at the hotel. Duncan even had a "wee meeting" with the Myanmar Minister of Tourism in the loo!!!
Lake Inle was a great way to end our trip. We were on a special mission to find the "old lady" of the Padaung tribe. She is related to a friend of ours, a doctor from Burma now living in Florida. We delivered some photos he had taken of him and the lady on a recent vacation there. She was so surprised and introduced us to all her family including two gorgeous granddaughters who wore the rings just below their knees. They were captivated by the word "hello" and kept saying it as we waved goodbye.
In short, we are so taken by the people who live in Myanmar... for their authenticity and resourcefulness... perhaps coming from the day- to- day practice of Buddhism ? We have much to learn from them. We can only hope that future development there will not spoil the uniqueness of them as people and their surroundings. The addition of some 40 new hotels and the clear cutting we saw, gave us pause for concern.
Tree, thank you again for a superb trip. Great memories. We wish you, Patrick and all your people the best. Cheers, Sheila and Duncan.
Overall, we had an excellent trip! Don and I both loved Bhutan and Myanmar. Both countries are beautiful, each in their own way. They are also very different from one another, too. I think our main comment would be to say how wonderful our guides were. As we’ve discussed in the past, it’s really the difference between a good trip and great one. It was really nice to have the same guide for the entire itinerary. You get to establish a rapport and they get to know us. We thought both guides were very professional, knowledgeable and personable. We learned a lot from both of them.
Having said that, Don and I really enjoyed our Myanmar guide, Thiha, a lot. Maybe because we got to spend a bit more time with him, maybe because his English was a slight bit better, perhaps because we shared the same sense of humor. Thiha is also quite a good photographer—he gave Don some tips on using his camera—he shoots with a Canon camera as well. And, he also provided us a DVD with photos at the end of our trip as a souvenir. In all our travels, he’s only the second guide to do that. So, we have some instant memories of our trip!
—Irene and Don
Hiroshi! We miss your company... We have a lifetime of memories of the moments with you. Alex and Sydney are still raving about the food. We appreciated the kindness you showed our family and how special we felt with you. We could not imagine anyone else showing us what Japan is really like.
—Karen and Bill Sanders
Hi Tree! Greetings from the Nam Hai (after a long Thai massage) : )
I just have to give my compliments and thanks for this amazing trip you and Patrick planned for us. It has been so fun, comfortable, and has flowed smoothly. Both Caan and Quin have been excellent guides as have been the drivers. The restaurants and accommodations, the biking in the countryside, the cooking class today in Hoi An have been way above my expectation for sure. Certainly, the Vietnamese people and the food have been fantastic.
Hi Patrick, June and I were in Ecuador, Peru and Chile for a three week trip this year and will be in Iceland, Norway and Denmark in August. When people ask me my favorite trip I mention three... Vietnam, Kenya/Tanzania, and Israel. All the best.
Our second trip with you and this one to Bhutan was most enjoyable. If anything, the trip was too short and wished we could have stayed longer. Your hotel choices were wonderful.
—Dr. Ken Taymor
Hi Patrick, We are now safely back in the U.S., having arrived early this morning. We couldn't let a day pass without thanking you for planning such a fabulous trip for us!! Already we are talking about a return trip to Indochina. (We are looking at Myanmar and Cambodia). No doubt when we do, we will use Indochina Travel again and will certainly recommend your services to others. Many thanks again!!
—Jeanine & Greg
Dear Patrick and Tree: Chris and I had a wonderful journey. Thanks to you, everything was flawless (save the drive to Bumthang...oh, my!..and the canceled Bagan balloon ride...disappointing but the right call). All of the guides were superb (especially Thiha in Burma; Choki in Bhutan was also delightful...we may have been one of his first clients). The accommodations were top-rate in most cases, the special activities and personal service much appreciated.
We have sent along a few photos of us in our travels along the way; The first, when we reached the top of Cheri Monastery in Thimpu, next on our way to Tiger's Nest and last, lunch with Thiha along the Aye Yarwaddy River in Bagan. Chris and I thank you so very much for all the time and effort that went into the planning and execution of our travels. We will recommend Indochina Travel any time we can, and hope to travel again with you in the future. Best wishes,
David and I had the most amazing trip with so many memorable moments throughout our tour of these countries. The hotels were exceptional; the facilities were beautiful, and they vary in style and design. Truly, a feast for us. The staff were warm and welcoming; we felt pampered and indulged. Our guides were wonderful young men who were so committed to make sure that we were well taken care of and that we were able to experience the important highlights of their respective countries. They were sincere, personable and flexible. We could not have asked better. The drivers!! If you can navigate the traffic, I tip my hat!! They were extremely careful on the road. Finally, the selection of the restaurants was fantastic! We ate our way through Indochina and marveled at the level of sophistication at these great cities. Finally, the ease of going through visa/customs is priceless! We would very much like to revisit some of these places with our children in the future.
Finally returned from a fantastic trip. I want to thank you very much for your personalized attention. Our guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. Your people took great care of us getting into and out of the airport avoiding unnecessary long lines at the airlines and customs. Your selection of restaurants was wonderful and the rooms at the Belmont were fabulous. Many many thanks for making our trip so memorable . Most sincerely,
—Steve and Miriam Edell
The trip was great. The Guides were all very nice, attentive, knowledgeable, and courteous. Although we noticed that a few of the portions of the itinerary had to be changed (meeting of chefs and artists) the trip still was unique, interesting, customized to our pace, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Received your gift of the Burmese Cooking. Are you trying to entice me to go there for the next trip ? ; ) Thank you. It was very thoughtful. I’ll be in touch. Thanks again,
Dear Patrick, We wanted to take a moment from our expertly planned and action packed trip to thank you for the lovely dinner we enjoyed at Le Elephant. It was such an unexpected surprise! As we sit on our veranda at the Belmont in Luang Prabang, we are so grateful for your wonderful advice and recommendations for our visit to Laos. We are blown away by the natural beauty and grace of this place and cannot thank you enough for the interesting activities you have suggested for us. We feel like we have had an exclusive view and experience of Laos thanks to you. Cheers and thanks!
—Ann and Steve Dobryman
Dear Patrick: We wanted to take a moment from our expertly planned and action packed trip to thank you for the lovely dinner we enjoyed at Le Elephant. It was such an unexpected surprise! As we sit on our veranda at the Belmont in Luang Prabang, we are so grateful for your wonderful advice and recommendations for our visit to Laos. We are blown away by the natural beauty and grace of this place and cannot thank you enough for the interesting activities you have suggested for us. We feel like we have had an exclusive view and experience of Laos thanks to you. Cheers and thanks!
—Ann and Steve Dobryman
Thank you for organizing this wonderful trip! Everything went according to plan. Hotels were very well selected and our guides very helpful in helping our entire family become better acquainted with the region. We really enjoyed the varied program including encounters with artists as well as visits to meaningful museums and silk farms. We are sorry to have missed Pralong Bay and Inle Lake. Hopefully will be able to visit again in the future.
We had an amazing trip!! There is so much that we did and would like to report back to you. Thank you for coordinating all of it. You have provided an outstanding service and there wasn't much that we would have changed. Certainly there were many things that we couldn't have done without you! We were very pleased with the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi and Duc was wonderful. We enjoyed his guidance and expertise, he was fun and made our trip!! Please let him know that we had a GREAT time with him. Mai Chau was beautiful and the boat trip to Halong Bay was also great. We were pleased with every detail of the two. Everyone working for Indochina Travel is outstanding including the drivers. boat staff, contacts...We had a nice time at Hoi An seeing the sights and having the experience of custom tailored clothing Hai would have been enjoyed greatly. Our guide Jun was very pleasant and nice and the driver Jun was skilled and very safe. We loved the Nam Hai and an additional day there would have been really nice. We enjoyed the bicycles, service and the atmosphere there. Thank you again for everything! We would highly recommend your services and use you again.
With artist Boi Tran, in Hue Vietnam
We are having a marvelous trip.the two guides (Nyuen & Mhin) and drivers have been exceptional! ! I really mean it! So far over 900 photographs taken. This is a wonderful country with special talanted people. They are happy, laugh a lot are just plain fun. Food is different, but delicious. Very sorry Patrick could not join us so I can really show him how to see and learn about a country. Lila gas done some damage as usual. Tops, handbags, pearls, beads, lacquer trays, embroidery paintings,etc., etc. May need a small loan when we get home! These guides are great!
—Lila & Steven Klausner
First of all I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making sure we were so well taken care of on our trip - everything was so thoroughly well thought out, it really went without a hitch. Secondly, I wanted you to know that all of the guides were really spectacular; we loved getting to know them and hearing their stories as well as all of the fascinating history they shared with us. They all had such love for their respective countries despite whatever hardships they had personally undergone. Thank you for everything - we will be recommending Indochina Travel very enthusiastically to our friends!
—Nicole & Garson Foos
Overall, I would say the trip will be indelibly marked in my family's memory as the most educational in our lives. The trip left us all with a strong view about how lucky we have been in our lives and how very good people in other parts of the world have been significantly less fortunate but seem extremely happy nonetheless. Important lesson. Guides: It is here that IndoChina Travel really stood out. We found all of your guides to be extremely knowledgeable and, importantly, very good people. ^ The clear standout was Nin in Siem Reap. His life story was both heartbreaking and inspiring. His passion for the temples and the entirety of Cambodian culture and history was infectious. His humor and clear love of life brought the entire group along in his journey. He took us to a performance by a team of artists he used to work with, which was one of the top highlights of the trip.
—David & Meridith Manlowe
Outstanding experience on both the trip and Indochina Travel. Particularly impressive is their network of knowledgeable guides...they were all very experienced and sensitive to our needs and preferences. They were great about modifying things on the spot for us, and wonderful at sharing both their deep knowledge of history and culture and personal impressions of contemporary Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Getting to know our local guides was a critical part of this great trip. And to top it off, the food (from the street food to elegant restaurants) was fantastic.
—Sara & Jeffrey Lesk
Thank you for planning for us what turned out to be a trip of a lifetime for our family. We loved each of the beautiful countries we visited and the activities and experiences you planned for us. We also were most appreciative of each of our local guides who by the end of our stay in a particular country had also become our friend.
—Scott McKay & Famly
Foremost, you exceeded our already high expectations... it was, in all respects, the trip of a lifetime. From helping us patiently plan the perfect itinerary, to the absolutely wonderful guides, diveristy of activities, and exceptional people that we were introduced to, as well as the access and privacy (we felt many time we were the only people in places we went) all added up to a spectacular and special trip.
—Kristin & Cliff Armstrong